Occupational Therapist

Role of the Occupational Therapist in the Management of Rheumatic Diseases


Occupational therapists (OTs) are licensed healthcare providers who have a masters or doctoral degree, and are specialists in helping rheumatology patients perform life tasks. 

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

OTs work with patients with rheumatic diseases to help identify daily activities that are important but have become difficult to do, including:

  • Self-care, such as bathing or dressing
  • Home tasks, such as cooking or cleaning
  • Work/school tasks, such as typing, driving, or learning
  • Hobby/fun tasks, such as sewing, games, or sports

Where Does an Occupational Therapist Work?

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Nursing facilities
  • Schools
  • Mental health facilities
  • Home health agencies

Should I See an Occupational Therapist?

If you are having trouble with any of the following, an OT can help.

Activities of Daily Living
An OT can teach you how to complete important activities that you need to do each day when symptoms of pain, stiffness, fatigue, or stress make it difficult to move through your day.

Joint Protection
There are many devices that can make your life easier and ease the strain on your tender joints. An OT can talk to you about your life and teach you how to use these tools to help you get things done. OTs can make splints or recommend equipment to make your life easier.

Mental Health
If memory, thinking, reasoning, anxiety, or lack of social support are making it difficult for you to function in your home, school, work, or community, an OT can help you find solutions to these difficulties.

Environmental Barriers
OTs can look at your living situation, including home, work, and community environments, and teach you how to overcome barriers.

OTs can consult with you and your workplace to recommend accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment of a medical or health condition.

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